Temporal variability of 210Pb fluxes and bioturbation in shelf sediments beneath the high primary production area off Concepcio´n, central-southern Chile (36S)
Keywords: benthos, chile, photosynthetic pigments, radioisotopes, sediment mixing, Concepcio´n shelf
We estimated monthly fluxes of 210Pb in shelf sediments beneath a high productivity area off central-southern Chile (36S) during 1 year (September 2002–August 2003). Sediment cores were obtained using a multiple corer and were analyzed mainly for 210Pb, total pigments, and macrofauna abundance. The 210Pb inventories and fluxes were estimated for surface sediments (0–5 cm) and bioturbation coefficients were inferred using chlorophyll-a (reactive) profiles. In general, 210Pb content was inversely correlated with phytodetritus fluxes. High photosynthetic pigment contents in surface sediments were consistently associated with lower 210Pb contents. Macrofaunal activity responded to oxygen and organic matter supplies at the sediment surface, generally concentrated in the first centimeters, but particularly so during months of high organic matter fluxes and deficient bottom water oxygen conditions. At this study site, several processes involved in the 210Pb surface distribution make it difficult to accurately estimate ages at the surface. We postulate that the organic fluxes promote changes in the faunal activity, which, in combination with sediment resuspension and water circulation over the shelf, produce seasonal variations in the 210Pb inventories.
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|PROGRESS IN OCEANOGRAPHY
|PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
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